Peddling press release has heart in the right place but…

Bike Parking by Peter Drew of Adelaide

It’s always good to see major bodies and charities plugging the pro-bicycle message but Heart Research UK may want to do a bit more, er, research before jumping on the pedal-powered bandwaggon. Full press release copied below.

For a start, it’s ‘pedalling’, not ‘peddling’. The latter means selling, place to place.

And the very first bit of advice is really going to encourage people to jump on their bikes, isn’t it?

“Always wear a helmet and long sleeved tops, as well as padding for elbows and knees to give protection.”

This advice is aimed at adults. As @MCRcycling says on Twitter: “It’s almost like they want to stay in business by putting people off bikes.”

Nor am I too keen on suggesting folks look for a bike at “car boot sales, second hand shops or on eBay.” I know I’m biased but perhaps suggesting calling in to a bike shop first might be better advice?

Other than that the rest of the press release is tickity boo.


Get peddling

As part of National Bike week 2011 (13-26 June), we’d like to encourage all workers to commute by bike. According to the British Medical Association, cycling 20 miles a week can reduce your risk of heart disease by 50% compared with those who don’t cycle at all. Regular cycling increases your heart rate which helps build fitness and stamina, promotes healthy cholesterol levels and lowers blood pressure. It also helps to decrease body fat and keep your waist measurement in check.

Your mental health will improve too as endorphins, the body’s natural happy hormones, are released, increasing your self-esteem and decreasing depression, anxiety and relieving stress. Cycling to work will ensure you arrive wide awake and be ready to take on the day’s challenges as well as allowing you to dodge rush hour traffic. It also offers huge environmental benefits and is much cheaper than using the car or public transport.

Here are some practical tips to get you peddling:

• always wear a helmet and long sleeved tops, as well as padding for elbows and knees to give protection

• invest in a foot pump and keep your tyres pumped up; test your brakes before setting off on the road

• always wear high visibility clothing or reflective strips so people can see you more easily

• ensure you have bright front and back lights for cycling in the dark or on a dull grey day

• hone your bicycle maintenance skills by going on an evening or weekend course

• cycling for long distances can leave you hungry so a hearty breakfast such as porridge or muesli will give you a good start. If you’re feeling peckish mid-morning, snack on fresh fruit, dried fruit, unsalted nuts or seeds

• take fresh clothing in a rucksack or keeping a spare set at work. Your organisation may even have shower facilities or be willing to invest in some

• get your employer involved in the tax efficient ‘Bike to Work Scheme’ to make cycling cost efficient for both you and them

• if you don’t have a bike hidden in the garage, look for one at car boot sales, second hand shops or on eBay

Put that bike to good use and enjoy being fitter by getting that heart pumping efficiently. Ditch the car, bus or train and get peddling – it’ll do your heart the world of good.